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Jerricho Cotchery has to live with what-ifs after Super Bowl drops

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Jerricho Cotchery #82 of the Carolina Panthers fails to make a catch against the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The call of an incomplete catch was upheld upon review.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

As the Panthers scrambled to find capable wide receivers last season when star Kelvin Benjamin was injured, they put a certain amount of trust in veteran Jerricho Cotchery.

For the most part, he earned that trust, though his two drops in the Super Bowl were a difficult memory to carry into the offseason.

“If you’re in this game long enough, you’re going to have those moments where you can look back and say, ‘Man, I should’ve made that play and if I would’ve made that play, this would’ve happened,” Cotchery said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review. “The other night will be no different.”

While there’s some debating his first drop of the Super Bowl (Hey, at least Mike Carey thought it was a catch!), the second was clear, and forced the Panthers to settle for a field goal attempt that doinked off the upright.

Now comes the question of whether the Panthers will offer him a chance to return, as the 33-year-old’s about to become an unrestricted free agent. Asked if he wanted to return, he said yes, with a condition.

“For Carolina,” he said. “This is a special place, but I don’t know what the future holds right now, especially at this point in time in my career. I just don’t know anything. . . .

“I do know this — coming back here the past two years have just been tremendously wonderful for me. Bringing my wife back down to her home state and just playing ball here again, being before these fans, it’s been wonderful.”

But as the Panthers move forward, they might look for a guy with younger legs, if not better hands.

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37 Responses to “Jerricho Cotchery has to live with what-ifs after Super Bowl drops”
  1. drgfri says: Feb 11, 2016 6:11 AM

    It was clear from that first replay that the NFL wanted Denver to win. Thanks Goodell. You have ruined this game.

  2. rgorr44 says: Feb 11, 2016 6:20 AM

    Jericho, no your not “gonna have those moments” when you look back. That was the super bowl. Don’t minimize the impact those drops had on the outcome of the game.

  3. pencilmonkeymagic says: Feb 11, 2016 6:42 AM

    All jokes aside, you have to feel for the guy. Nerves can be a real b**ch when playing the game.

  4. namriverrat69 says: Feb 11, 2016 6:58 AM

    Wow, dropped passes and Cam not Jumping on that loose fumble. If the football had Cam Newton’s picture on it the passes wouldn’t have been dropped and Cam definitely would have jumped on that fumble.

  5. Stiller43 says: Feb 11, 2016 7:16 AM

    The first one WAS a catch…

  6. ace3hundred says: Feb 11, 2016 7:20 AM

    The ball hit the ground and cotchery lost control. By rule it is not a catch. There is a great picture of the ball on the ground floating around out there for all the non believers

  7. 6ball says: Feb 11, 2016 7:48 AM

    .
    Ironically, the book on Cotchery has always been : good hands, good possession receiver, not exactly a big play guy.
    .

  8. stoopidfool says: Feb 11, 2016 8:12 AM

    Call Wes Welker and then get a bigger helmet

  9. suncawy says: Feb 11, 2016 8:31 AM

    The first one was incomplete because he didn’t complete the process of the catch, it was plain and simple according to the rule. As he falls to the ground, the ball comes loose and he never has full control of it. Apply the same rule to the “Dez Bryant”, no catch. Its too bad on the next play, Cam has the ball stripped and the Broncos score, but that’s how it goes.

  10. mlzehnder says: Feb 11, 2016 8:40 AM

    Well, it was a catch. Everyone but Broncos’ fans should see that.

  11. jets911will says: Feb 11, 2016 9:27 AM

    I haven’t used my account in over 2 years and I just logged in to say that Cotchery has some of the best hands in the league.

    It’s too bad he had to drop the ball in the 3rd quarter but the 1st quarter play was, in my opinion, a catch, and was not, in any way imaginable, a drop.

  12. bobnyjets says: Feb 11, 2016 9:30 AM

    One of Rex’s biggest mistakes was letting Cotchery go for that bum Derek Mason (lasted 8 games).

    Not a great receiver but the season before the Jets dumped him I watched him pull a hamstring on a play, still get open and hop on one leg for a first down.

    When a guy is good (and Jerricho is) and showed that much grit you keep him.

  13. truthinesshurts says: Feb 11, 2016 9:31 AM

    I was rooting hard for the Panthers and saw the ball hit the ground and then come loose. Mike Pereira isn’t a Broncos fan that I’m aware of and he thinks it was incomplete too. It’s not bias. It’s watching the entire replay for contact between the ball and the ground, which happened in the middle of the process, not the end of it. Go watch the replay again, don’t rely on your memory of the CBS announcers biasing you to think it was a catch…🙂

  14. fwippel says: Feb 11, 2016 9:38 AM

    He didn’t drop the first pass.

    He controlled the ball, and had his hands underneath the ball when his hands hit the ground.

    He maintained control until his hands and the ball were off the ground.

    He then juggled the ball, but regained control without the ball hitting the ground.

    That is a catch. The refs blew the call.

  15. truthinesshurts says: Feb 11, 2016 9:39 AM

    jets911will says:
    Feb 11, 2016 9:27 AM
    I haven’t used my account in over 2 years and I just logged in to say that Cotchery has some of the best hands in the league.

    It’s too bad he had to drop the ball in the 3rd quarter but the 1st quarter play was, in my opinion, a catch, and was not, in any way imaginable, a drop.

    …………….

    Imagine….the nose of the ball rubbing the ground after he gets his hand under it, then the ball coming loose as he loses control of it while rolling over.

    Or you could just watch the replay instead of imagining it. Search YouTube for Colin Cowherd Mike Pereira Cotchery and listen (and see) the explanation as to why it was not a catch.

  16. bocadiver1 says: Feb 11, 2016 9:43 AM

    While not exactly earth shaking, the play will always be a Super Bowl “did he/didn’t he” catch that quite probably altered the course of the game.

  17. sbchampsagain says: Feb 11, 2016 9:50 AM

    Worst WR corp in the league. It’s Amazing Cam did as well as he did this season.

  18. edelmanfanclub says: Feb 11, 2016 10:00 AM

    The refs sucked, Newton sucked, Manning sucked, basically everyone sucked but denvers D (excluding Talib) and Panthers D (had to defend short field EVERY drive) and McManus.

  19. edelmanfanclub says: Feb 11, 2016 10:02 AM

    What are you people talking about, the ball can hit the ground if he has control. Which he did. It was a catch, I dont even understand how it was ruled incomplete, there was a split second where it hit the ground and he had control.

  20. cropslx says: Feb 11, 2016 10:18 AM

    I just watched the play again in slow motion. Jerricho had control of the ball came to the ground. His thumb is up by the tip of the ball. The ball ONLY came lose AFTER he was rolling over and the ball was OFF the ground. IT WAS A CATCH AND A MOMENTUM/GAME CHANGER!!

  21. djrando7 says: Feb 11, 2016 10:19 AM

    edelmanfanclub says:
    Feb 11, 2016 10:02 AM

    What are you people talking about, the ball can hit the ground if he has control. Which he did. It was a catch, I dont even understand how it was ruled incomplete, there was a split second where it hit the ground and he had control.
    ____________________________

    I know you’re still mad the Broncos beat your beloved Pats, but just because the when the ball hit the ground, he has control, doesn’t mean it is a catch. Once he started to roll over (process of the catch) the ball started to move around. Therefore the call on the field was correct. Like it or not, not a catch.

  22. rjthakid says: Feb 11, 2016 10:45 AM

    It. Was. A. Catch.

  23. smgeorge99 says: Feb 11, 2016 10:50 AM

    On his first drop, you can debate all day whether it was a legit catch or not. But if he would’ve made the relatively simple and routine catch without bobbling it, there’s no discussion. Instead, he bobbled it, and left it up to the refs to decide. We see how that worked out for him.

  24. osiris33 (bandwagon since 1976) says: Feb 11, 2016 11:56 AM

    If you hadn’t played the Seahawks at 10AM on a watered down high school field you wouldn’t have even been in the Super Bowl. Stop whining and enjoy your fluky one-year run at the top Panthers fans. You’ll be lucky to make the playoffs next year if the Super Bowl losers hangover holds true.

  25. kamthechancellor says: Feb 11, 2016 12:09 PM

    If the football was a mirror, Scam Newton would’ve been all over that fumble.

  26. 4ever19 says: Feb 11, 2016 12:29 PM

    Not a Panthers fan. At all. Although Cam is fun to watch. Didn’t care if they won or lost. Didn’t really care of Denver won or lost. Even though I am a 51-year Colts fan, which means I was, it seems, supposed to be rooting for Manning. But I thought the disputed non-catch was in fact a catch. Cotchery did a solid job of making sure the ball didn’t hit the ground at first and didn’t “move” when it did. Color me confused about what constitutes a “catch” in this day and age.

  27. purpleguy says: Feb 11, 2016 1:00 PM

    Catch or not, there are a couple of things most folks can agree on: (1) he should have wrapped it up better; and (2) it wouldn’t have changed the result.

  28. jaykubs says: Feb 11, 2016 3:22 PM

    dude had a great year. sucks he blew it when it matters most. he’s had a long career though not too sad here.

  29. bsizemore68 says: Feb 11, 2016 3:56 PM

    One thing for sure Denver won the game hands down. Perhaps the guys can learn that in this game you CAN use both hands when you know you are going to be hit or when you go to the ground. Bill

  30. jetsfansince1968 says: Feb 11, 2016 9:32 PM

    Jets fan’s always appreciated his effort, locker room attitude and skills. Worst move ever, releasing this receiver

  31. itsthecameenewtonshowcom says: Feb 11, 2016 9:55 PM

    The NFL wanted Denver to win so they coached Carolina as how to choke, quit and act insufferably.

  32. nflmytwocents says: Feb 12, 2016 12:40 AM

    CATCH!

  33. junkmtb says: Feb 12, 2016 10:21 AM

    Game Over!!! Let the catch mess go! Jerricho best of luck to you, regardless if you remain a Panther or not!!!
    #keeppounding!!

  34. concretejimmy52 says: Feb 14, 2016 1:29 PM

    I thought it was a catch. Even most Broncos fans thought it was a catch. The ball never touched the ground. But if he doesn’t bobble it then it’s a no brainer. Some of the calls went the Panthers way also so no blaming that one play even though it was a momentum changer. But I did notice Cam getting exposed as an average QB when the Broncos contained him in the pocket and made him throw. And then to watch him pout like a big baby. People were right about Cam and his selfish antics. There is no I in team and he doesn’t look like a leader to me. Going to be interesting to see the fallout of Cam next season and other teams taking notes on how to stop him.

  35. concretejimmy52 says: Feb 14, 2016 1:31 PM

    And Derrick Mason is no bum. He was an excellent WR for years and would still make plays while hurt. Sorry your team decided to sign him after he was washed up. I’m sure the Texans feel the same way about Ed Reed. I guess he’s a bum also!

  36. concretejimmy52 says: Feb 14, 2016 1:32 PM

    Broncos made Cam look like RG3. Maybe Cam should give him a call.

  37. concretejimmy52 says: Feb 14, 2016 1:34 PM

    The only bum I saw was Scam Newton. What a fitting name.

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